Many thanks to Small Bites reader Corey Clark who saw this article on the Men’s Health website and notified me of a few bits of information that didn’t quite add up.
In his e-mail Corey asked me to read the article and claimed that “it seems okay until tip number 8, but then it gets ridiculous.”
Does it ever!
The article — titled “10 Surprising Hydrators” — is based on the recommendations of a Registered Dietitian and promises to unveil ten “alternative ways to hydrate… with fluid-filled foods.”
In fact, the article goes on to claim that if you consume these foods, “you could, theoretically, never drink a drop of plain ol’ water again.”
The piece starts out with the standards: skim milk, watermelon, salad greens.
Then it goes downhill drives off a cliff before exploding into a fireball of nonsense.
I am still trying to wrap my head around the last three suggestions:
“#8 (Soda): Yep, you read that right. [Registered Dietitian Nancy] Clark says that caffeine, sugar, and water combo can make [for] a great post-exercise slug if it’s your beverage of choice. It doesn’t make a difference if you crack open a diet or a regular. But add some salty pretzels or a brat to help your body hold on to the fluid.”
If I were a cartoon character, you would see my eyes bulge out, my entire face turn red, and then steam come out of both my ears.
Soda and a bratwurst following a workout? Did the writers from The Onion hack the Men’s Health website?
If the intent is to get readers to consume caffeine, sugar, and water after a workout, how about suggesting something that doesn’t leach calcium from bones. Perhaps an iced unsweetened latte?
“#9 (Ice Cream): Stop and get yourself a post-workout cup of Phish Food on your way home from the gym. Ideally, you’ll choose the light version, but in a moment of weakness, you’ll still be hydrating with that frozen fluid. We’ll take Ben & Jerry’s over a bottle of Dasani any day.”
You know that feeling you get when you see Kate and Jon (of “Plus 8″ fame) on every magazine cover and television show? That feeling of “what sort of messed up parallel universe do I live in?” That’s pretty much the feeling I got after I read that paragraph.
By the way, that cup of Phish Food adds up to:
- 560 calories
- 90% of a day’s worth of saturated fat
- 9 teaspoons of added sugar
“# 10 (Beer): Ok, sort of. The general consensus among trusted nutritionists is that beer is a dehydrator, not a hydrator. However, Clark says that a Beer Shandy — one part lager to one part lemonade or Sprite — is OK.”
Let me get this straight. Beer is a dehydrator, so therefore it is okay to drink after a workout as long as it is mixed with another fluid?
I am still in shock that a health magazine would encourage readers to consume soda and ice cream after engaging in physical activity.
That’s akin to me suggesting chocolate ice cream with almonds as a way to get calcium and vitamin E, or a double cheeseburger as a good source of protein.
I would like to think this is an example of a sloppy reporter completely taking a professional’s advice out of context.